The times that I miss home desperately, is when I get sick. That may be a huge thing like chest pains and being wheeled to the ICU (yes, it happened) or small things like virals and stomach infection (no, not bird flu)
What one really misses is the feeling of some one watching your back. To know that there is someone there, to pamper me, hand to foot, and mentally and emotionally cosset me, when I’m feeling I can’t take a step, or that I just want to collapse from it all.
I remember when I was a kid, whenever I was ill, my dida (gran) would sit beside me, in a dark room, for hours on end. Her touch on my hair was so gentle, it would inexplicably comfort and soothe. I don’t think I have ever felt that kind of tender “giving” love in a touch, from anyone else, and don’t think I ever will, now that she is gone.
Even when I was older, facing ups and downs, teenage angst, adult fears.. she would be there. By that time, age and illness had forced her into a wheelchair. She became pretty good at circumnavigating around the house, on it, and so, would wheel into my room, and stroke my hair till I would calm down. I miss her unbearably, more than I thought I ever would.
Today, I can’t afford to collapse. Even if I was to be dying (ok, so I’m melodramatic :-D) , there still would be too many arrangements to make. Or at least, call Ma back home, and make sure she’s not falling apart (which in itself, is a mammoth task). I always tell my mom what happened to me, only AFTER I get better, so as she wont have hysterics back home alone, without being able to o anything about it ASAP. My mom hates feeling helpless, and I think that is what she feels when I get sick, us being so many miles apart. So, I try to prevent that as much as I can.
Maybe that’s what’s the hardest. As we grow up, and go through life, the “taking on the mantle of responsibility” becomes a heavy burden. Roles get reversed, lines get blurred. So, we put on our brave faces, act like we’re untouchable, unstoppable. And we move on.